When you think about heart disease, you probably think of this as a condition that affects people much later in life. For most of us, this is not a health problem that we consider to hit the young and healthy, but it can really sneak up on you if you’re not careful. This is particularly true for women who often ignore some of the most telltale symptoms of heart disease, and therefore put themselves at great risk in the future.
When you look at the statistics you will realize that more and more women are suffering from heart conditions, including heart disease. Not only that but those who are negatively affected by these heart conditions tend to be women who are in otherwise good health, but ignore some common symptoms. Since they don’t seem related to any heart conditions, it’s easy to look past them and so the negative cycle continues. It’s important to be in tune to what can present itself related to heart problems, and therefore to work towards prevention and a better overall education.
Here are some of the early telltale symptoms of heart disease, some of which may seem completely unrelated and therefore can be even more important to tune into. Whenever something seems off with your health or you just don’t feel yourself, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out.
- Pain in the jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back: This can be the most confusing symptom as you don’t tend to think of pain in these areas of the body as heart related. What can happen is that the blood vessels can become blocked leading to or from the heart—and this shows up as pain in these areas of the body. Look for recurrent or debilitating pain in any of these parts, particularly if it came on suddenly or if it is also associated with another symptom too.
- Extreme fatigue: This is usually the hardest symptom to diagnose, and that’s because fatigue can be associated with so many health problems. Many women suffer from a great deal of stress and therefore feel tired much of the time. If the fatigue is unbearable or if you are also suffering from other symptoms of heart disease then you need to be evaluated by a doctor.
- Shortness of breath: Many tend to assume that if they have shortness of breath it can be a respiratory issue, or even be associated with anxiety. In this instance though you are not getting enough oxygen carried throughout the body by the heart, and the result is difficulty breathing and shortness of breath after even the simplest daily activity.
- Swelling or numbness in arms and legs: This is something to really be aware of because those who suffer from this type of swelling or numbness are already pretty far along with this heart condition. This often means that not enough blood is getting circulated, that the blood vessels are blocked, and that the heart is working overtime to try and keep your daily function normal. You must get help for this often overlooked symptom as soon as you suffer from it.
- Change in skin color: Many women tend to look for moles or other very visible skin issues as they worry about issues like skin cancer. If there is a bluish color to the skin or if the skin is radically changed, this can indicate circulation problems. If there is a significant change in skin color that comes on suddenly and doesn’t dissipate, this can be one of the very real symptoms of heart disease that can’t be ignored. Always know your body, look for any irregularities in how you look or feel, and get checked out by a doctor to always be sure of what may be going on.